This past week has been pretty great! Unfortunately we have not been able to meet with a lot of our investigators but we have picked up a few. One of our investigators, Melody, has been investigating for two years about starting in 2005 and then recently just got picked up as a former. She has gone to church in the past but now works every Sunday and is not able to get Sunday off. But we had a SUPER cool miracle where we went to go teach her a lesson from the "Gospel Principles"(since she has gone through the lessons multiple times) book and we took a member with us who looked up the laws for Maryland and found one that had recently been added that said all employees that work in retail are allowed one day a week off for religious purposes. She works at McDonald's though, so I don't know if that is retail... :/ ha ha. But she is putting a letter together and hopefully will turn it in this week and get work off so she can go to church and then get baptized!
Last week we were able to go out on splits with one of the two young men that are preparing to leave for missions soon. The one we took out is named Marterio. He is super cool and is a convert of a few years. His mom is not a member and has been taught by the missionaries before, but no success. After going out with Marterio one night we dropped him off at his apartment and decided we should go try to teach his mom again since it had been a long time since she was last part of a discussion. She sat down with us and we talked for a long time. She mainly argued in the beginning about our "differences" and continued to emphasize on a lot on things that we had different beliefs in. In the end we were able to commit her to reading the Book of Mormon with an open heart and to sincerely ask God if it was true. Toward the end of the lesson Elder Rushton and I were able to bear our testimonies many times about how we came to know that the things we are sharing are true. So it was really powerful and we will be stopping by soon to see her again and see how her reading has been.
Another cool miracle that happened this week was Mary. Mary was a referral from the festival of lights about a month ago. She was interested in the message of the Gospel and we had called her many times but we were never able to catch her home. We had gone by plenty of times and just when we were about to drop her we decided to go knock one last time. We did and a man yelled through the door to tell us that she lived next door! Ha ha boy, did we feel dumb. So we went next door and knocked on the door to get the usual response, "WHO IS IT?!"(in a thick African accent.) "It's the missionaries!" The door flew open and a mid-aged African woman opened the door with a ecstatic "HELLO!!!" as she came out of the door way, arms open, giving us both a big bear hug!! Ha ha it was so funny and it totally threw me off guard. She invited us in but unfortunate we did not have a third male with us so we had to re-schedule. We left her with a brief explanation of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration, leaving her a pamphlet with a copy of the Book of Mormon. So we are super juiced to see her this week.
Oh, so iPads!! It has been really different working with the iPads now as Elders. All the missionaries in the mission now have them and they are AWESOME! We can do all our numbers and goals/actuals online now. We use the church wifi since there isn't any in our bed bug infested apartment ha ha. But they really are great for teaching lessons too. We have the gospel library app on them and they can do so much! We have Bible Videos and Mormon Messages along with videos from the Prophet and the Apostles. It is the BEST! Not to mention that all the pamphlets and standard works are on their and all the notes we take and highlighting done is synced right to our LDS accounts. So even when we are home we will have it all on there. It is a learning process and there are quite a bit of bugs that need to get worked out but so far so good!
It sounds like things are going great at home... busy as always, but great! I hope Grandpa, Grandma and Uncle Vaughn all had awesome birthdays. Wish I could have been there.
I am very excited for all the missionary work going on back home! I am so happy for our family and the ward and I hope that everyone continues to get excited and courageous in sharing the gospel with others! It makes me so happy sharing the message that has blessed my family in so many ways... the joy that comes from doing this is beyond explanation. I never want to stop sharing the Gospel.
I love you and give everyone a big hug from me. Miss all of the family and friends back home! Keep up the GREAT work!!
Elder Sean Farley